Developing an effective multinational pooling network

Universal Music is the world’s leading music company comprised of two core businesses: recorded music and music publishing.

The company discovers, develops, markets and distributes recorded music through a network of subsidiaries, joint ventures and licensees in 77 countries, representing 98% of the world music market.


Like most companies, Universal Music is facing tough market competition and in light of this, recently launched a global company strategy aimed at reducing costs and ensuring value for money across their employee benefits.

The challenge

Universal Music turned to us for advice on their existing arrangements and on extending their current Multinational Pooling network across the globe.

Our solution

We provided guidance to Universal Music on the pooling process and liaised with all providers. We developed a bespoke administration process for each subsidiary to follow as part of the overall strategy.

This included initial communication of the project to the businesses, along with timescales of contact prior to renewal, options at renewal and placement into the pool.

To gain the maximum benefits we worked with Universal Music to select the two most suitable pooling networks, which best covered their existing benefit provision around the world.

Whilst the ideal scenario is to have one pooling partner there may sometimes be issues with the pricing of their network partners or coverage in particular countries. By looking at two partners this ensured greater coverage and allowed the subsidiaries some control by having choice.

For specific benefits and countries that fell outside of these pools, we communicated the advantages of pooling and encouraged the local subsidiary to consider the local pooling partner at renewal.

The outcome

Universal Music have now aligned and communicated their overall pooling strategy to all their businesses and an agreed process is in place. Over the next 12 months each of their subsidiaries looked to transfer applicable benefits to the appropriate pooling partner. This in turn increased the likelihood of a dividend on their pool. Setting up these pools has resulted in Universal Music receiving dividends of 5% of pooled premium, which would have otherwise not have been recouped.

Capita has been very effective in managing this complex project, planning and instructing us where necessary. Their powerful partnerships in the industry have given us the most competitive rates available through multinational pooling. Over the next 12 months Capita will be supporting us through this transition, effectively transferring our subsidiaries to the appropriate pooling partner. The rewards in taking onboard such a project include a substantial cost saving to the company – standing it in good stead for any unforeseen market turmoil in the future.